Rating – 3.5/5
‘I Don’t Like You’ is the latest single from Lowlives, West coast hard rock outfit with a post grunge twist.
The vocals certainly carry with them the identity of the song, a raspy vocal fry dominates with a mix of more melodic phrases in the verse and a healthy mix of the shouted repetition of ‘I don’t like you’ makes up the chorus.
The opening guitar work is crunchy and has an open ring feel to it which complements the feel of the track, it quickly gives way to a more heavy and distorted sound in the chorus. There’s a simple single note passage which is repeated throughout : “…I really wanted to have one that had that quiet/loud Pixies kinda vibe where it’s pretty much the same riff throughout the whole song.”
Going for a less polished sound, the production certainly takes you down a bumpy and more rugged track. The guitar distortion permeates much of the chorus, which does offer a pleasing white noise effect, but unfortunately leaves little room for nuance in the other parts of the band. Not necessarily a criticism because that’s the effect the group is going after and they achieve it well.
The accompanying B-side track ‘Church’ continues in pretty much the same vein as the single; another hard rock offering with once again focus on heavy distortion and loud vocals. As a B side, it doesn’t do much to showcase some sort of variety in the group’s songwriting, it does cement that post-grunge identity that is alluded to in the first track.
There’s also an acoustic version of the title track, a ‘C-side’ (If such a thing exists…?), that basically offers a more stripped back sound, minus the fuzz but changes little in terms of arrangement or character.
As far as shout along, hard rock tracks go Lowlives have put together an interesting single that doesn’t particularly break the mould; it does hark back to the powerful and driving rock that dominated commercial radio in the 2000s, coupled with some ideas of alternative music in the vein of Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots et al.
Review by Theo Wildgoose